2005 Form Challenges
#6 Sonnetina

According to Turco's "Book of Forms", the Decastich is any whole poem of ten lines. There is no reference to meter or rhyme pattern and perhaps it for this reason, (lack of inhibition) as to why it has been the subject of so much experimentation of poetic ideas.
Whilst researching this form it was found that Australian Alex Skovron had published a book titled "Infinite City" consisting of 100 ten line poems. He called the form Sonnetina.
Later it was discovered that several other poets had the idea of a mini-Sonnet and used the title of Sonnetina, and quite logically if forms are used similar to those of Sonnet forms, then why should they not also be labelled as mini Sonnets or Sonnetina.
As stated previously ten-line poetry is not new and internet research finds ten line poetry forms fall into three general groups, free verse, (Decastich), miniature sonnets, (Sonnetina), and Tritina.

Ten Line Poetry Forms

Decastich No set form
All that's required is ten lines
No meter specified
More Detailed Information
Sonnetina Uno Ten lines, Blank Verse

Iambic Pentameter
More Detailed Information
Sonnetina Due Five couplets
2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2
Any meter
More Detailed Information
Sonnetina Tre Two quatrains and a couplet
4 x 4 x 2, or 4 x 2 x 4
Any meter
More Detailed Information
Sonnetina Quatro Sestet with a Quatrain
6 x 4
Any meter
More Detailed Information
Sonnetina Cinque Two Quintains
5 x 5
Any meter
More Detailed Information
Tritina Three tercets and one line
A, B, C... C, A, B... B, C, A.... ABC
Any meter
More Detailed Information
Complex Variations Sonnetina Sequence, Crown of Sonnetina, Sonnetina linked by rhyme or theme. Sonnetina-Sequence
Crown of Sonnetina

Sonnetina Posts

Deborah Bel

Careening Consonants
Fantasy's Flight
Summer Guests
Upon Receptive Virgin Sheet

Gloria Carpenter

and so she goes
At the Seaside
The Dancer
Hats Off
I Always Knew
Il Divo
In My Dreams
Morning Walk
Ocean Rhythm
One Day
Rainbow Dance
Still Letting Go

Bruce Henderson

Snake Eyes

Ryter Roethicle

Aussie Way
Clouded Thoughts
I am the Waves
I am the Wind
In Spirit
River Morning
Summer Storms

Lorraine Stark

Upon Her Dresser

Ryter and Gloria

Waders in Wellington (NZ)

Deborah Bel


It was a momentary pause,
That space between my heartbeat widening.
In a panic I raced to fill the void.
Projects started, one after another, a flurry,
Aimless distractions, anything but the silence.

They have begun to mound, urgency pressing
The next heart beat will be at any moment.

Buried under my half finished tasks
Realizations and déjà vu -- I've been here before.
In the delay of just one, I've come full circle.


Careening Consonants

It was the befuddled boppity bump
That clear conniving confounded clunk
Which waddled whined and whirled
Ever so slightly, slinking superbly.

It was the foiled, ferocious fiend,
That turning, tipsy toodler teen
Which mangled more maneuvers
Than put precariously to perch.

Daring do, dear doodling Don
Looming least whilst leering long.


Fantasy's Flight

Not the dreams of fantasy's flight
Late night pizza's twists and turns,

Not the heat or cold of sleep's repose
A window closed or opened too soon.

Desire's steeped in fantasy's reality
Pretty musings of what can be in truth.

Tis the bumblebee's erratic flight
Sure sight of origin and destination,

Tis gentle meanderings of an evolution
Limits of motion to endless possibility.



Wind and water flow through veins
Sparkling with the brilliant flashings
In the cognizance of a drop.
Taffy pulled and stretched
Refolded on itself making candy
This sweet string coursing its path.

Singing as it goes forth
Pitch altered with each fold
In the blending of notes
Bursting ripe to expose a seed.



How often I have wished...
I could reach across the stream of bytes and bits
To touch your cheek, caress your hair
When I know that you are sad.

How often I have wished...
I could hug you
When we laugh at some silly bit of nonsense
Passed in little notes across our screen.

This vast space of togetherness, instant, yet distant,
How often I have wished...



A sea of fairy lights cavort upon the green
Grass swaying in a summer's scented breeze,
Stirring soft clouds in hues of gray sweep
Against low shadowed hills this eve.

The bending sound of passing cars,
(Not even that peculiar sound does mar
The mood that comes so lightly to me here)

Shadows slowly grow to show the first night's star.

It beckons now for me to pause - stillness met
Gazing at the falling of a sunset.


Summer Guests

Sweet buttercup flowers gracing the grass
Tiger Mountain seen in the window's view
Herbs out front now arranged in mass
Heavens adorned in white clouded blue

Family and friends sing the song of my heart
Breathe in laughter and breathe out love

Bouncing to the music preparing for guests
Washing the windows with a grin on my face
Planning for their stay to be a pleasant little rest
Rearrange the furniture create them a space.


Upon Receptive Virgin Sheet

Upon receptive virgin sheet that lies so still awaiting,
Eyes opened lashed dark pools to reflect up the intent,
Of a pen so poised and primed in its desire of sating,
Their joining with each other 'til the poetry is spent.

Eons have beheld their children born in glad abundance,
Reflecting storms at sea along with clear and calming waters,
Some of them did spend their days delighting in the dance,
While some did blossom in the time they spent in darker quarters.

All their children will reflect one moment's simple blend
That came when pen and virgin sheet sought poetry to send.

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Gloria Carpenter

...and so she goes

In echoed memories, tall grasses free
the sifting waves of sand between her toes
which run towards the tide, and so she goes
with laughter meeting water's edge and, she,

this scalliwag in bundles, stops. Surprise;
a crawly thing with pincers, startles. Cries.

She turns and trips to safety in soft arms,
but not for long. She smiles, decision made...
she grabs her little bucket and her spade,
then strides towards the ocean and its charms.


At the Seaside

...and at the seaside, whether cold or hot
most grown up men wore Trilby hats, the rest
donned handkerchiefs, each corner in a knot,
while women sat in deckchairs, fully dressed.

The oddest thing that I remember well,
and what may cause some snorts, and even snickers,
is how I seemed to roll before I fell,
so bundled, with my dress tucked in my knickers.

Such memories do smile across my mind,
as photos take a look at my behind.


The Dancer

Assorted clothing hangs upon their youth,
loose pants of camouflage with shirt of stripes,
wild-patterned socks beneath a skirt of plaid ~
identities expressed like coloured flags
alive with freedom's wave as seasons change.

Three bikes lean up against a wooden bench
and parked behind, a truck with doors ajar,
its speakers sending messages in beats,
like ancient drums, they tell of passage rites
and in the midst, she stands ~ the girl in black.


Hats Off

I very rarely wear a hat at all
but if I do, I wear one with a brim
to shade me from the sun. When I was small
my mother chose my hats. I looked quite prim

and proper, you might say; at least she tried
to make a lady out of me; two bows
were often pinned above the ears, each side
to keep the curls from going astray; who knows,

it may have worked, but did I give a whit
of how I looked to others? Not a bit.


I Always Knew

With eyes of new-found love, I wish to ask
if ever you had thought there was a chance
with you and I, for never did you seek
to take me home into your arms to stay.
I think I always knew the day would come.

A glance behind, just once, to catch your eye
to see if there was sadness or relief,
yet what I saw was pain so deep it hurt.
A teardrop asked if it was yours or mine...
I thought I always knew when day was done.


Il Divo

I did not know my senses were on hold
until you found me smothered in the cold;
a blossom hidden deep, that missed so much,
so gently I unfolded to your touch.

Caresses nurtured blooming from the start;
such feelings of compassion, from the heart.
Your kisses opened eyes, and now I see,
connected once again to what can be.

My heart is truly open; now it sings ~
because of you, there’s beauty in all things.


In My Dreams

It's time to go to bed, to hit the sack,
but first I have to climb down dragon's back.
Between us we have littered such a mess
I think it's mostly me, I must confess.

Creation creates chaos, this I've found,
as bits of gold and silver lie around,
and all the notes and pictures children send,
for they love Claude, their magic dragon friend.

Tomorrow, as I say each night, it seems
it's then I'll sweep up dragons, in my dreams...



Sometimes I still have issues
that haunt in dreams at night.
I used to weep, use tissues,
sob, sneeze. Gesundheit.
I’ve dealt with all the miss you’s;
have let go of the fight.
I try to dream in kiss you’s;
let fantasy take flight.
There, now you know my wish you’s ~
to show you I’m all right.


Morning Walk

I've walked this path so many times before;
the breeze beside me drifting scents of June,
of fallen blossoms mixed with fragrant hope,
of honeysuckle vines amidst hedgerows,
of bramble bush blooming with wild rose.

..and there before me lies the ocean waves.
with barefoot sand-dipped pools of last nights tears,
as wind picks up and sends me on my way,
like wings that lift in flight to glide above.
There really is no mystery to love.


Ocean Rhythm

My walk depends on ebb or flow of tide.
At times, a stretch of sand will greet my eye,
then, like a child, I bare my feet and run,
as burrowed clams squirt geysers in the air
and catch me laughing as I play their game.

At other times, waves swell in wildest roar,
while tumbling stones collide in rhythm's rock,
and wind-whirls spray against my burnished cheeks.
I breathe this ocean force into my being,
a surging, pulsing passion; deep desire.


One Day

As summer's longing dances to the beat
on tiptoes to the sea, those slender feet
return to stand upon the edge, serene,
while youthful limbs lie sprawled on picnic's green.

In skirt of silksheen black, her hair ablaze,
she strikes a posture as her arms upraise;
so beautifully she moves with ballet grace,
a golden moment captured in her face.

She stops, and turns, to join her friends in play.
I knew I'd seen her destiny. One day ~


Rainbow Dance

My funky blues have gone, I'm in the pink!
No need to blush, it isn't what you think ~
A baby girl was born, just yesterday;
Such happiness has blown the blues away.

I could have shopped in shades of yellow hue,
or even green, or purple, but not blue.
I've had enough of blues for now, I think,
and that is why I chose a shade of pink.

No matter what she wears, she will entrance,
for she has just begun her rainbow dance~


Still Letting Go

The dream returned last night, of him and her.
From where I sat, I saw them meet and kiss,
a deja vu of many years ago.
He spoke to her with words that lovers say,
and I, again, was left to watch and wait.

This time I saw a lightning flash, and then
a silhouette, a vampire out for blood.
I sighed, for some things never seem to change,
and so I turned in shadows, bid farewell ~
The candle in the window flickered out.

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Bruce Henderson


Love will never grow from a barren field.
How I can expect my harvest to yield.

I've planted and tilled with unpaying toil.
This heartless wasteland of impoverished soil.

I've prayed faithfully and waited in vain.
For heaven to grant its life giving rain.

But all my labours have brought me to nought.
The dreams frustrated of the love I've sought.

Perhaps my fortune awaits the morrow.
When time has despoiled the seeds of sorrow.



There is a face that I cannot forget,
whose heart still beats a pang on my regret.
Who looked at me with eyes of burning fire;
whose selfless soul my dreams cannot aspire.
Amongst the fates how rare there is to find,
two stitches trailing wild, yet still aligned.
Like ships that sail, go passing in the night,
that fleeting skiff too soon passed out of sight.
Yet wast this soul of sanguine purity,
that has restored to me my poetry.


Snake Eyes

Because of love I threw away the sense
that guided me throughout the modest years.
The earth grew small, and all my self defence
withered before a ghost of maudlin fears.

Snake eyes can't see the stars, nor can they know
the nightmare depths a wasted soul will sow.

Yet pale is not the kingdom that awaits
my journeyed heart. I planted faith before
I left, and nailed my theses on death's door,
for only shadows long for feigned soulmates.

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Ryter Roethicle

Aussie Way

When I lost you, I could not cry real tears,
And yet my pain was no less great for it.
But men do not cry, or worst still show their tears,
Instead they hide it, and bury it all in a pit,
The Aussie way, and drown it with a hundred beers.

Eventually, common sense prevails, and we see sense
Or worse still are made to wake up to the truth.
But the cloud of alcohol can make emotions dense
Preferring still the Carlton United booth
Where amber fluid simply adds to the pretense.



Cry against my shoulder dear one
As I hold you, let your pain pour out
Sob and let it go as I pull you closer
That's it; use me as your sounding board
With weeping words tell me all
Your eyes are wide open now
And your heart is torn to shreds
Now you have learned the facts of life.

My minds eye sees the tattered remains
Two souls who were united for a while


Clouded Thoughts

CLOUDS speak without uttering a sound
Enquiring minds seek the meaning of life
Lying on the ground looking into the sky
Simple beauty floats in serene motion.
Later there is a powerful conversation
That takes place between heaven and earth
And man must consider his worth shrink.
In comparison with the timeless motion
The wind will scatter his ashes to her corners
And continue her never ending chase of clouds.



Eyes open wide to see nothing but darkness
Arms extend, grope out to feel the emptiness.
Feel safe, taste its power, savour the blackness
Harness what most people fear; the darkness.
Gloom is often shunned; it is a creation to be used

It is a place for solace, where no one judges
And senses are heightened, but all are blind.
Smell the air, harken to noises, and gently touch,
There is a new quality to things as you learn,
As gradually the darkness becomes your friend.

> -----

I am the Waves

I am the waves that splash down on the sand,
Or gentle moonlight that reflects in your eyes.
The melody of spring when the earth is reborn,
With green shoots and the new-borns cries.

All this I offer, live in harmony with me,
Or suffer the pain I can cause humanity.

I am the storm raging that humbles your power;
The earthquake, the avalanche that wakens fear.
More than strong enough to destroy any tower,
I prove it each day, every month, every year.

> -----

I am the Wind

I am the wind that whispers in the still of night,
Making the rain dance softly against the window,
Changing to the winter gale that hastens flight
Freezing the earth and turning rain into snow.
Inducing horizontal ice arrows to nip and bite
That in the shelter of home causes skin to glow.

Gazing out you see the entity that is part of me
Living proof that man is subject to my will.
Know that his conceit is only what I permit to be
And that in time, he will have to pay the bill.

> -----

In Spirit

Once again, I kiss you on your mouth
And although you cannot feel me
Your fingers lightly touch your lips.
I am unable to feel your warmth
Yet I know, you have felt my love.

By love I am forever bound to you
And although you cannot see me
I will always be alongside of you.
You are unable to feel my touch
Yet I know, you can feel my soul.



HAVE you heard the sound of the rain?
I mean really heard the primitive sound it makes
or felt it, as it beats against your naked skin,
and let its emotions consume you.
Have you felt it's warm, softness caress you
quenching thirst, yet thirsting for more
you surrender and become yourself
discovering how thin the veneer really is.
Feel how sensuous everything becomes
Why not surrender? Surrender now!



Read your book of life to me,
Your words, bring out my tears,
And your thoughts provoke me,
Or bring out madness and laughter...
I want you to move me again and again.

I want to read the words you say
Until finally I am overwhelmed
By all the senses you have provoked
And in my post -coital mindless state
I hear the peace....


River Morning

A brash still morn with the threat of heat
Drew the birds up close to the river bank
Half awake, wheeling, in erratic circles,
Chasing whatever insect dare brave the morn.
Their wings tear into the morning mist
Their shrieks and caws counterbalance the river
As it babbles and sings, in complete contrast
With the birds harsh, tuneless cacophony.
Its sound mellow with the confidence of age,
And a kookaburra sounds its mocking laugh.



Within every time of our love, our life
There must begin a time of death.
Why must life that starts with a dream
End with darkness and inevitable tears?

What do I know of you or you of me?
We met and suddenly we are lovers.
Your touch so new and yet so familiar
I know I have loved you before.

As two lovers we met as the stars rose
Must love end with the dawn?


Summer Storms

STORMS in the distance
Black clouds slowly drifting closer
Galleons composed of mist on blue
For all the world like a heavenly Armada
I see occasional white flashes
And hear heavy pounding cannon.
Heading to destinations unknown,
In their passing the air is cool and pleasant
Bringing a deep breath of peace
Relaxing my mind and calming my tired soul.

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Lorraine Stark

Upon Her Dresser

On the dresser the music box played a familiar tune.
Each day a young girl would wind it up and listen.

Memories brought tears to her eyes.
She was determined to not let go of any.

So she’d stare at the ballerina dancing to the music.
She tried so hard, so hard to do the same.

Sunset would cast rays of light upon the plastic ballerina.
She twirled up and down without a sound of her own.

One could hear the little girls sighs of frustration.
Tomorrow she’d practice and practice some more.

Her parents could not afford to give her lessons.
Today on a marquis her name, she succeeded.

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Ryter and Gloria

Waders in Wellington (NZ)

How apt the name of the "Long White Cloud",
How true the vision of Wellington
That before he had heard of these "Fair Isles",
He created footwear to travel therein.
Inelegant black, built for function only and
Totally shunned by the fashion paragon.

But need must when the Devil drives
And sensible footwear helps one survive
Please take me back before much longer
To shorts, and sun, and open footwear.


Although plain wellies are the normal pick,
I've found a site of patterned boots that kick,
of hunter powder blue, and aubergine,
or some with hearts and flowers, stripes between ~

But, somehow I can't see you make a dash
in strides across the puddles with a splash
of coloured rubber, flashing in your Mac,
because I know you as ~ the Man in Black ~

I hope somehow you keep your tootsies dry ~
Perhaps there is an Irish Pub close by.


Irish pubs in number three
All by now well frequented by me,
And Indian Restaurants in abundance
Serving that wonderful hot-curry substance.

That also has been my quest,
And one stands out above the rest.

The Daawat has become my place of feasting
The last three nights in there I'm meeting
An Indian who at his craft excels
And thanks to him my belly swells.


It sounds like you have settled in quite well,
and understandably with belly swell.
Yon menu simmers saucily with spice,
with curries and tandooris to entice.
Masala, vindaloo - such tastes do linger
as Raj stirs in more coriander, ginger....

A bowl of rice, and bread..hey, now I can
foresee another meaning for DaNAAN...
Let's not forget those pubs with Pints O'Guinness
Amazing, really, what we do put in us.

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Any Comments or Suggestions, please email me

2005 Poetry Challenge
The Poets Garret
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